Ajax Amsterdam were in need of a win by at least two goals against current champions Real Madrid to make it into the Champions League quarter-finals after their 2-1 defeat in the first leg game at home. To the surprise of many, Ajax were capable of putting this into action by beating Real 4-1 in the Bernabéu.

Erik ten Hag’s side utilised a high-pressure style of football to overcome Real in an action-packed match. The interesting role of Donny van de Beek was another vital aspect of the concept of Ajax which will be depicted in the following tactical analysis.


Ajax opted to defend in a 4-2-3-1 formation. While Frankie de Jong and Lasse Schöne formed a double pivot in central midfield, Van de Beek played in a more advanced role as the central attacking midfielder.

Ajax Real Madrid Champions League Tactical Analysis Statistics
(Credit: Wyscout)

Striker Dusan Tadic and wingers Hakim Ziyech, as well as David Neres, were supposed to threaten Real Madrid’s goal. Last but not least, Erik ten Hag set up a line of four at the back to defend Real’s attacking trio.

To read the full match analysis, click here.

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